Fleece Cupcakes

You think I would be working on my handmade Christmas presents full time. But you’d be mistaken. I spent my free time making these adorable cupcake toys while Cressida ate lunch.

They are made with brown fleece I got out of the remnant section. I cut a 9 inch by 2 inch strip of fleece and put a long bead of hot glue down the strip at an angle and folded the edge over. Then I rolled it into a  cupcake shape, fattest edge in the middle, moving out to the narrower edge. I covered the bottom of the roll with hot glue and stuffed it into a mini paper cupcake wrapper and squeezed a bead of hot glue around between the wrapper and the “cupcake.” After it was all gluey and my fingers were getting a bit uncomfortably warm I stuffed the whole thing into my mini-cupcake pan and put something heavy on top to hold it in until the hot glue dried.

I made a half dozen of the little guys. They’re great stocking stuffers, but I ruined the surprise by making them in front of Cress, so they went straight into the kitchen set toy bin.

It’s cool that I fudged the surprise. I’m making a hand knit poncho for Liv, knitted leg warmers for Elise and a koala applique shirt for Cress, so the handmade goodness is still going to flow.  I’ll be sure to post pictures as I finish projects!

Octopus’s Garden

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love it even more than Christmas. I think the reason I like Halloween so much is that no matter how much consumer junk there is available to just buy and be done with it, there is really no reason to accidentally spend $1000 on Halloween like there is for Christmas. Also, no matter how easy it is to buy a Halloween costume, it doesn’t discourage a ton of people from getting down with their creative self (even if they think they aren’t creative) to make a costume out of clothes from the thrift store or cardboard or fabric.

This year I spent the two weeks leading up to our school’s “Trunk or Treat” making a family’s worth of under the sea themed costumes. The girls all decided to be mermaids, so that was easy. We went online and looked at Google Images of mermaid costumes until they picked the one they liked the best. They settled on the ones that were the easiest to make, thank goodness, and I got them all done in one weekend.

Everyone say Hi to our neighbor, the fairy.

My original plan was to make a Cat Bus hoodie for my costume, but the girls told me I needed to be in the theme, so I changed my mind to octopus. I used 2 yards of fleece fabric (because it’s OHIO and it’s cold on Halloween every year) and draped it over my mannequin to make the pattern. There was no measuring, just guessing, because that is what knit fabric is for.

Notice I am not the only crazy person in this family.

I used jewelry wire to hold the non-sleeve tentacles in shape, and hot glued minkie fleece to the underside of the tentacles for suction cups.

Then we made a giant sand castle out of cardboard boxes and sprayed it with glitter glue. And put the whole thing in front of a fabric ocean scene hanging from the gate of our trunk. And for the whole event I played Octopus’s Garden by the Beatles on the van’s speakers. Can’t you tell everyone loved it?

Oh yeah. I never got a picture of it, but Rob wore a golden crown and carried a trident I made out of a hiking stick. And we passed out Swedish Fish.

I may have gone a bit overboard.

New Beginnings

Last year was a big year for me. I realized some of my lifelong dreams. Some of them in a big way, some of them in a small way. I spent the year learning about my style and where I want to take my crafts. That was exciting. I learned that the biggest barrier to making this what I want it to be is my own lack of discipline. And since I know I can run a Marathon, which takes enormous discipline, I know that I can make the time to blog at least every other day.

This being the first day of 2009, the occasion of declaring this year’s plans is upon us. I never used to be a resolution person because I never cared about the same things in April as I had in January. Or if I did care it was because I had resolved to leave behind some vice, and not to put more effort into something I love. Vices die on their own as you get busier or more mature, but making your loves a priority is something you have to fight for. The people who love you have to make them a priority as well. That is the most important thing because when life gets urgent, peoplearesickandbillsaredueandschoolbeginsin10minutesandnoonehascombedtheirhair, it’s very easy to let the things that take effort fall to the side just to get by. It’s easy to spend naptime reading instead of sewing or writing.

This year I don’t want to let that happen. Rob bought me a mino video recorder that I want to use to make video tutorials. I bought a dreamhost subscription for 2009 and I want to move my craft blog to its own domain so I can have more control over it and hopefully neglect it less. I want to remember to post on Love and Blunder because I love that blog. It’s like a part of my family or an old friend and I need to stop by and visit more often. I also want to spend more time learning what other people are doing, and letting myself be inspired. I’m getting a ton more sleep now that the Elise-Beast is getting older, I think I can spend some of my newly found brain activity on learning something new.

Have a blessed New Year! I can’t wait to see how it changes us.